Archive for the ‘housing’ Category

44 Islington Park Street

June 7, 2015
44 Islington Park Street

44 Islington Park Street

Islington Park Street or to be more precise 44 Islington Park Street is four Victorian properties knocked into one.

It was created in the early 1970s by a former Franciscan friar Greg Moore.

His big idea was that vulnerable people such as recovering drug addicts and ex-offenders would live side-by-side with those who did not have problems in a network of communes. He also established the  Crescent Road Community in Kingston upon Thames

The tenants at both communities are now facing eviction by One Housing Group.

One Housing Group are a Housing Association.

A Housing Association from its name, sounds ok, a nice community feel,  but they are not, these are greed-driven, unaccountable, modern day Rachman landlords.

As the tenants of what was then Pavilion Housing Association at Firgrove Court learnt one day when they awoke to find their homes earmarked for a supermarket car park, part of the destruction of Farnborough town centre by a greedy property developer.

One Housing Group are behaving true to form. They want to evict their tenants to realise the asset value of the properties.

One Housing Group (OHG) last month wrote to the communes’ residents saying it intended to “decant” them.

Are people like the contents of a wine bottle, to be decanted?

Decant being a weasel word for eviction.

We are two London communities, one made up of 18 low-income adults who share a cooperative house in Islington, the other is 21 adults and 3 children who share a similar house in Kingston. Our communities have been in existence for nearly 40 years and some of us have lived in our home for over three decades.

One Housing Group, the housing association that owns our properties, has stated that “group homes” such as ours must be “phased out” and that they intend to “decant” us. Court proceedings are being initiated in an attempt to evict all residents from the properties as soon as possible.

Our residents range in age from 4 to 79 and we are thriving examples of supportive, sustainable communal living. We cook, eat and socialise together, make decisions together about how our houses are run, and collectively provide care and support to those of our residents who are young, elderly or sick.

Many of us are vulnerable and will be seriously affected if we are evicted from our home. One older resident has Parkinson’s disease and is likely to be forced into residential care if he is removed from his house. Another spent his youth in foster care and was placed in his house by social services, aged 16; this is the only home he has known. One resident found her community as a place of safety following years of domestic abuse. Children may have to change their schooling and sole parents will lose their support systems and local contacts.

Our way of life offers a positive vision of sustainable, supportive, affordable communal living and an alternative to the social isolation faced by many in the city. Social landlords should be fostering more communities like ours, not tearing us apart.

The experience of the Firgrove Court tenants, was eviction from maisonettes set within extensive green space, to two blocks of ugly flats with a car parking space.

What we are seeing for the two properties in London, is ongoing social cleansing. Tenants being cleansed from desirable parts of London, being kicked out of their homes to enable the owners of the properties be it private landlords or social landlords profiting from the evictions and repossessions.

Please sign the petition opposing eviction of these two communities.

Top story in Real Estate Late Edition (Tuesday 9 June 2015).